The home video rental business is booming - in 1989

With the home VHS (and some even have Beta) rental growing by leaps and bounds, businesses are finding ways to meet the high demand.

Available from superstores, small retailers, and now vending machines, home video viewing is hot.

This video vending machine makes renting even easier for the consumer in 1989. (CBC Archives)
It's a $2 billion-a-year business in the late 1980s — renting and selling movies for home viewing.  According to a CBC Newshour report, business is great for the renters, sellers and buyers of VHS and Beta tapes.

'Home videos ... a market I wish I'd bought stock in'

The growth in the home video business continues, with more and more people enjoying the convenience of watching movies at home. 0:38

With the growth of superstores on the rise, lots of choice is possible, some even stocking beta movies and providing free popcorn.  But according to Jim Gormley, good service is as important, and for that $1.99 that the customer spends, they should be treated well so they'll come back to the stores.

The home video superstore, where variety and service are high priorities. 0:23

'Rent here, drop the movie off at another machine'  

And although it would seem that having movies delivered to your door — via mail — in the city of Toronto is a thing of the past, there's a solution for that.   

Videos may not arrive by mail, but borrowing them has been made easy with this vending machine set-up. 0:30

Thanks to the Amazing Video Machine, picking up a movie is as convenient as picking up a loaf of bread.  With 155 of the vending machines currently available in Toronto and the surrounding area and 400 expected by the end of the year, it's only getting easier to set up a movie night at home.

And while industry people recognize that there will eventually be a shift in the growth, at least for the moment, Stu Paterson reports that "we consumers of video movies have never had it so good."